Advanced Techno-Babble

Poking around in craigslist tonight, glancing at ads for writer/editors. A company called Sybase is looking for a writer. I don’t think it’s me, but I was curious about what they do. Their home page is designed with all kinds of little pop-up widgets — very sexy. One of the widgets says “Afaria.” I had no idea what that word might mean, so I clicked on it. Figured I might learn something.

Here’s what I learned:

“Afaria provides comprehensive management and security capabilities to ensure that mobile data and devices are up-to-date, reliable and secure.”

Mobile data — there’s a concept to make your head swim! What I think maybe they’re talking about is, your CEO is using his Blackberry while on a flight to Singapore, and Afaria makes sure he can access an encrypted database. But that’s a pure blind guess on my part.

“With Afaria,” the body copy goes on, “IT has the level of control and visibility required to proactively manage and secure multiple device types, applications, data and communications critical to frontline success, regardless of the bandwidth available. By putting control in the hands of IT, frontline workers are freed from the burden of management tasks, which increases user adoption and productivity. Afaria uniquely combines mobile device management and mobile security from a single console, providing the best protection against security threats and compliance issues.”

I think I’m getting a sense of why they need a writer. Not that I’m tempted to apply. What does any of that goop mean? I have no idea what a frontline worker is, but it seems clear that Afaria is going to ensure that they remain peons, “freed from the burden of management tasks.” And I guess we’re talking about orphaned frontline workers, probably under-age ones, if they’re in need of adoption.

Mobile security, that’s another interesting idea — now your security is here, now it’s gone somewhere else. And compliance issues are something a psychologist would have to sort out, right?

Teaching cello can be frustrating at times, but it has the enormous advantage that I’m dealing with utterly concrete matters. “You used your 3rd finger instead of your 2nd finger.” “You skipped ahead during that rest.” “You’re lifting the bow from your shoulder. You need to learn to use your wrist.” I seem to be on an entirely different planet than Afaria. And frankly, I’m very happy about it.

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5 Responses to Advanced Techno-Babble

  1. ellisz says:

    LOL. You have a title called “Rampant Misanthropy, etc.” and you pick on a web-site for obfuscating the meaning of their message.

  2. prophet-5 says:

    You’re easily amused, ellisz. Either that or you don’t know what misanthropy is.

    There’s a difference between using big words (which I’m capable of doing) and writing whole sentences and paragraphs that can’t be deciphered by anybody who’s not in the upper echelons of the industry that spawned the gibberish.

  3. ellisz says:

    While you make valid points, you also take yourself far too seriously. Relax a bit. ūüôā

  4. William B says:

    Capable¬†of¬†using¬†big words. How¬†ostenatious of¬†you. Anyone¬†with¬†a¬†decent¬†high¬†school education¬†is¬†“capable”¬†of¬†using¬†big¬†words.¬†

    I’m¬†not¬†a¬†techy,¬†nor¬†do¬†I¬†have¬†any¬†idea¬†of¬†what¬†product¬†you¬†are¬†referring¬†to, but¬†is¬†it¬†possible that¬†the¬†“whole¬†sentences¬†and¬†paragraphs”¬†were¬†intended to¬†be¬†read¬†by those¬†who¬†are¬†in the¬†“upper¬†echelons”¬†of¬†the¬†target¬†industry? Some¬†niche¬†products and¬†specialty¬†products are¬†like¬†that.¬†It¬†may¬†not¬†be¬†the case¬†here,¬†but¬†since¬†you also¬†openly¬†admit¬†to¬†knowing nothing¬†about¬†the product¬†(as¬†is¬†the¬†case¬†with¬†myself)¬†then¬†it¬†IS¬†possible.¬†¬†

    Just tossing my thoughts into the mix.  

  5. prophet-5 says:

    I think you’re probably right, William. The people who will be interested in Afaria will know (or at least, in the fashion of the Emperor’s New Clothes, will pretend that they know) what that paragraph means. I’m sure someone could produce a similar rant about a music theory textbook (which I would be able to read without trouble).

    In the back of my mind when I wrote this post was a riff Herb Caen used to use once in a while in his column in the SF Chronicle. He had something he called the Nikita Award, which was “awarded occasionally to prose that reads as if translated from the Ukrainian.” That paragraph might not have won a Nikita, but it would have been a finalist.

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